Wow, this bird went through some rough times.
It is a citrine indeed (you can even see the newly moulted covert showing the correct pattern). Congrats.
I'm certainly not questioning your knowledge, but isn't there few olive-toned more YW-like lower mantle feathers visible in second pic? Or is it just my screen?
I still see some olive tinged mantle feathers maybe pointing towards hybrid? Any pics showing rump?
I guess this kind of birds may have similar mantle to yours after wear;
See also other hybrids in tarsiger; they all show these same olive tones in rump/back/lover mantle area.
Thanks for persisting and sorry for the delayed response - was out of internet range last week.
I too detected and was worried by some olive tones on the photo you mention. Two points to make:
1. These digiscoped shots present far warmer tones than in reality. Compare with the flight shots taken with the DSLR (scroll down here)
2. Some photos labelled (though maybe not correctly) Citrine on OBI show olive tones to the mantle and/or scapulars. For example, this one, and this one. So my question is, is the presence of olive tones in the upperparts a 'show-stopper' for pure Citrine?
3. In ref to your second email, thanks for the links to the hybrids on Tarsiger. All birds shown there seem to have distinctly dark-bordered ear coverts and dark lores, and those that show the rump/back area reveal a contrastingly olive-toned back and rump.
See the attached pics, which are the closest I have to showing the rump. Frustratingly, these show the back and the upper tail coverts (both grey) but not the rump clearly (though on the three-quarters back-on pic, the rump may be a shade more olive than the back from what little can be seen).
PS Thanks Yoav too!
Last edited by Dave B; January 30th, 2012 at 04:37 AM.
Dave, any chance there is a sound recording of the bird?
On my screen I can see very little olive on the mantle, if any.
If I saw this bird in Israel or in India I would have no doubt this is a citrine.
If the bird called, we never heard it. It was with many other Eastern Yellows, and when they all flew, several birds called, but it was hard to assign particular calls to particular birds. At the time I was too busy trying to get pics to do any sound recording.
There's no doubt that the bird is a Citrine, but the question in my mind is, can we say with reasonable confidence that it is pure Citrine? The two questions I am seeking to answer are:
1. Can adult Citrine show a pale base and cutting edge to the lower mandible?
2. Can pure Citrine show olive tones to the mantle?
I think the answer to the 2nd question is 'yes'. Svensson says of adults in autumn "Mantle grey, often faintly tinged olive or brownish-olive".
Still seeking to answer the first question as the final piece of the puzzle!